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Want to do something good? Prepare meals for elders :)

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by CrayCray, May 13, 2017.

  1. CrayCray

    CrayCray OMG Member

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    Making your own meals for your elder loved one that they enjoy can be a challenge. Do they have teeth? Difficulty swallowing or chewing? Do they aspirate (choke on liquids)? Do they have impaired taste buds? Can they smell? Are they on a special diet? Do they have diabetes?

    My goal is to prepare foods that they will eat and make them healthier, rather than make them meals that are healthy that they won't eat. I find pretty lightweight small plates, bowls, and cups and try to make beautiful presentations. I make small portions and then ask them if they would like more.

    I try to get them to drink as many fluids as I can. Dehydration is a real problem. I give them small cups of a variety of drinks. Some of them are iced and hot teas, chai, hot cocoa made with protein powder, jello, applesauce, tapioca, milk, (nut or cow), smoothies, coffee... If aspiration is a problem, using thickener is a real help. It has no taste but can be added to any liquid, as much or as little as you like. I try to use it sparingly. It really does help with drinks going down the throat and not breathing it. Straws are nice. If they have trouble with a straw, dip the straw into the drink and put your finger over the end to create suction, lift it carefully, and put the straw end in the loved one's mouth. It is tedious, but it does get them hydrated.

    If they have problems chewing, minced vegetables, ground meats and soft foods are easier for them to eat. I used to make french toast often. Mac and cheese is a classic favorite. In my experience, they like to eat familiar foods. I get creative on ways to make them healthier but look and taste familiar. Talk to your local health food store clerk about healthy sugar substitutes, how to use protein powder, how to prepare quinoa with rice, how to add fiber to meals or drinks, how to add electrolytes, and other tips that are more tailored to your loved one.

    You can work with their sweet tooth! Breakfast bars are healthier than candy, and there are diabetic sweets available as well. You can add protein powder and fiber to pudding or tapioca. You can add EmergenC or other electrolyte mix and fruit to jello.

    Beautiful meals are a traditional way to show love in a family. Serving them on a tray with a flower or a pretty napkin can make an ordinary meal more festive. Food made with love is always better!
     
  2. Floris

    Floris I'm just me :) Hi. Staff Member

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    My parents are less mobile and for a while they have used a service where they could spend an hour doing nothing, because someone else makes warm evening dinner and delivers it. All my dad had to do is plate up and leave the dishes for me. It really helped them recover more and get back on their feet. It's a great service, easy to do ... I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

    I think it's always important to know your neighbours, so when they need an extra hand and you could do something like this, make a bit of extra at home and just bring it around .. they don't need to pay for the service, and you get to see a smile on someone's face who needs it.
     
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  3. OP
    CrayCray

    CrayCray OMG Member

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    Ok, that is pretty cool.
     
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  4. Nix

    Nix Just a little crazy!! Staff Member

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    I sometimes feed the neighbours or give them food items when they have run out! Does this count? (Although they are younger than me!)
     
  5. Floris

    Floris I'm just me :) Hi. Staff Member

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    Salina not an elder though :D
    hehe yet.

    My neighbours down at the end always make fantastic food. i really just want to tell them : make more and give me a plate, ill pay you $5 or something .. sigh, maybe one day i have the guts to ask her.
     
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